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Sonata for piano (A-flat major) op. 110

Listening samples
1. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo (365 kB)
2. Allegro molto (365 kB)
3. Adagio, ma non troppo - Fuga. Allegro, ma non troppo (365 kB)

Composition
1821

Beethoven wrote his last piano sonatas opp. 109, 110 and 111 together. He planned them as a trilogy and offered them to the publisher Schlesinger of Berlin. Schlesinger's son Maurice had visited Beethoven in Mödling in the autumn of 1819. Beethoven started work on op. 109 in the spring of 1820. Throughout the year he repeatedly told Schlesinger he was now working without interruption and would soon deliver the pieces. The composer delivered op. 109 in autumn but then turned to the Bagatelles op. 119 and the Missa solemnis op. 123 (which should have been completed in March 1820), thus neglecting the other two sonatas.

In March 1821 Beethoven once more promised Schlesinger a prompt delivery of the remaining two sonatas opp. 110 and 111, and blamed the delay on his poor health. In fact, he had not even begun work on the two sonatas. It was true that he suffered a serious case of jaundice in summer 1821, which kept him from working. According to the sketches, Beethoven started work on op. 110 in the summer of the same year and focused on op. 111 in the autumn. The two sonatas overlap in the sketchbooks. At the same time Beethoven was preparing the publication of op. 109. Due to a long proofreading period the piece did not come out until November.
On 12 December 1821 Beethoven announced the prompt delivery of op. 110. He completed the autograph on 25 December 1821 and sent it to Berlin two weeks later. The publication of op. 110 did not pose any difficulties and the sonata duly appeared in August or September 1822. Shortly after op. 110, Beethoven completed op. 111 in the spring of 1822. Compared to the previous work, Beethoven's final sonata had a rather long proofreading and printing period. The composer insisted on receiving sets of proofs, which he sent back no earlier than February 1823. The original edition was published by Maurice Schlesinger in Paris in April 1823. His father published the piece in Berlin one month later. This edition, however, contained so many mistakes that Beethoven angrily ordered the Viennese publisher Diabelli to issue a corrected edition. (J.R.)

Music manuscripts
Autograph, op. 110, 3. Satz, HCB BMh 2/42

First editions
Originalausgabe, op. 110, Cappi und Diabelli, 1141, C 110 / 9
Originalausgabe, op. 110, Schlesinger, J. Van der Spek C op. 110
Originalausgabe, op. 110, Schlesinger, 1159, C 110 / 1

Scores
Bibliographic data in library catalogue

Written documents
Brief an Adolph Martin Schlesinger in Berlin, Wien, 20. September 1820, HCB Br 210
Brief an Adolph Martin Schlesinger in Berlin, Döbling, 7. Juni 1821, NE 88
Brief an Franz Brentano in Frankfurt, Wien, 12. November 1821, BH 24
Brief an Adolph Martin Schlesinger in Berlin, Wien, 12. Dezember 1821, HCB BBr 50
Brief an Adolph Martin Schlesinger in Berlin, Wien, 20. Februar 1822, NE 213
Brief an Ludwig van Beethoven in Wien, Paris, 3. Juli 1822, BH 218
Brief an Maurice Schlesinger in Paris, Wien, 31. August 1822, HCB BBr 141
Brief an Ferdinand Ries in London, Wien, 25. Februar 1823, HCB Br 200

Literature
Bibliographic data in library catalogue

Manuscript sources in other libraries
Berlin: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-Archiv
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-51 (1)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-51 (2)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-51 (4)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-51 (5)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-51 (6)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-51 (8)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-51 (9)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Musique, MS-55
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS-51 (3A)
Frankreich, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS-51 (3B)
Österreich, Wien: Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Archiv, Bibliothek und Sammlungen

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